Parents usually have a hard time deciding on which is the best phone to give to their kids. With so many phones and features, the parent must decide on what is safe and useful to the child based on age and needs.

The type of the phone varies depending on the child’s age, price, size, durability, access to the internet, apps, social media, required parental control, and more. Additionally, the parents should set reasonable boundaries on the phones usage to protect the child.

Some manufactures have phones specifically designed for children and these have different features based on the target age group. But children being children, it is a challenge for the kids not to try things other than what they have been advised.

For younger children, one may consider the bare-bone mobile phones with only the basic features for keeping in touch with the parent. These can then be upgraded as the children become older and start getting interested in other features. For teens, one may consider a customizable smartphone which has the option of turning off some features such as downloading apps, social media sites and adult sites, until such a time that the children has demonstrated responsible ownership and usage.

There is always a phone suitable for each age group, and below is a list of the best 18 cell phones for kids.

1. Kurio Smartphone

The Kurio is one of the few smartphones that has built-in parental controls. Most smartphones are capable of accessing the internet, and chances are that the child can visit some unsuitable sites. The Kurio ensures that you control what child can use. In addition, it has geo-mapping and fencing options that allow one to track the childs location and make sure they are not straying into bad territories.

The Kurio is one of the best phones for kids. It allows parents to keep track of their children via the GPS. In addition, the parent can specify safe and dangerous locations on the phones map. The phone has a safe Web-surfing feature that prevents the children from accessing the wrong sites. The parents can also monitor the phone calls, text messages, contacts and applications.

Besides the controls, the phone is usually unlocked, allowing parents to select any provider they wish to use. The phones come with 25 pre-installed apps and are suited for teens as well as younger children.

2. Nokia Lumia 530

This is one of the cheap Windows phones suitable for kids. The phone has a bright orange plastic body, hence not very appealing to thieves. However, the specs are good for the kids. It comes with a 4GB internal storage, a microSD slot that can support up to 128GB, a 4-inch 480p display, a 5MP camera and a 10 hour battery.

The Microsoft Windows phone includes Microsoft Office and OneDrive options for the child. With this smartphone, the child can download lots of apps, access and complete their homework, take photos, and have a large collection of music.

Additionally, the parent can use Microsofts My Family to control the apps that the child can download. However, the app is not as strict as others such as the Kytephone app or the one on the Kurio phone.

3. Apple iPhone 4S

The Apple iPhone 4S is ideal for teens. It has an 8MP camera and a front camera, Siri, and various school focused apps to help the child learn languages, math, science and geography. The phone is great for media and ideal for watching videos, listening to music and playing games. However, the superior specs make it one of the most expensive on this list of phones for kids.

4. Kisa phone

This is a simple phone that allows one to call up to ten pre-set telephone numbers. The phone has a large bright display and is suitable for kids, vision impaired and the elderly. The phone is light and has an SOS button at the back. It can be customized to include contact information, allergies and other important information about the user. This light phone can however receive calls from everyone and the pre-set numbers can be changed when you wish.

5. Motorola Moto E 2

This is a budget smartphone with great features for teenagers. The Android phone has a decent camera, is able to download apps, play videos, and can access the internet. The Moto E2 allows parents to use the Kytephone app to easily have full parental control over the phone without going through a provider. The Moto phones are usually unlocked for a small fee and one does not have to be tied to a provider.

6. Microsoft Lumia 435

The Microsoft Lumia 435 Windows Phone is a budget smartphone for young and new users. It is a sturdy phone that can withstand falls and scratches. It also gives parental control through the Kids Corner option. Other features include the Rooms app which is useful for sharing locations, photos, calendars and chats with the whole family.

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The Microsoft Lumia 435 has a 4-inch clear screen, a front facing camera and a 2MP camera at the back. It comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a microSD slot with support for up to 128GB.

This budget phone may not have very high specs however it has most of the features that the young user will require for daily use. In addition, it has an easy interface, durable cases and customizable parental controls.

7. FiLIP 2

This is a multifunction smartwatch and acts as both a phone and a locator. The wearable device has support for a sync app for both iOS and Android. The app enables it to sync with the parents’ phone and allow parents to have direct control. Using this feature, the parents are able to set the safe zones for the phone usage, as well as controlling the watch interface.

The device is usually available with different-sized spacers and the child does not have to replace the device as they grow bigger.

The parent can also program the device with a maximum of five outbound and five inbound numbers. Another feature is the ability for a parent to send text messages that directly appear on the watchs main display.

8. Motorola Moto G (2015)

The Moto G is a cheap smartphone, yet it looks great. It has several features of a good smartphone. It is water resistant. The Moto G has 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32 GB. This smartphone runs on Android lollipop, has a front camera as well as a 13MP back camera and is great for teenagers.

The Moto G is made with a strong Gorilla Glass screen and a solid case. This makes it tough and durable. In addition, it has a water repellant coating and can withstand splashes.

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The Moto G budget phone has a big and colorful 4.5-inch screen, which is impressive and ideal for teens.

9. Huawei Ascend Y330

The Ascend Y330 is a very basic and cheap smartphone, using the Huaweis version of Android which is much simpler than Google Android. The phone has 4GB internal storage, a microSD card slot with a maximum of 32GB, a 4-inch 480 pixel display, a 3.2MP camera, and a decent battery of 1500mAh.

This entry level, budget and straight forward smartphone is perfect for first time smartphone users, and suitable for basic things such as calls, texting, taking photos and more. The phone has a simple and customizable interface.

10. Vodafone Smart Prime 6

Smart Prime 6 is ideal for a teenager who requires the features of a smartphone. The Smart Prime has 8GB of storage, a MicroSD slot that takes up to a 64GB card and a 5-inch 720-pixel display. This budget smartphone runs on Android Lollipop and has an optional user interface for the less tech-savvy users.

11. HTC Radar 4G

The HTC is a stylish and affordable smartphone that runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. This is a 3.8-inch display phone that is great for first-time buyers such as teenagers.

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The budget friendly phone is lightweight, and small in size, so it fits in the pocket comfortably. It has 4G connectivity, an 8 hour battery, a great camera, and is good for watching videos and TV.

12. LG Lucid

The LG Lucid is a good starter Android smartphone for middle school kids and older kids. It has a simplified user interface to help new users easily find their way around. However, despite being an entry level smartphone, it has great features such as 4G connectivity, comes with Polaris Office and has access to the Google Play Store for games and educational apps. The phone has step-by-step tutorials on all its features. This budget phone has an ideal packaging and slips into the pocket easily.

13. Motorola Triumph

This is a great smartphone for high school and older teens who needs access to the internet. It runs on Android, has a big screen and a fast processor. The Triumph has access to various apps that can help the teen keep track of their homework and other schedules. In addition, it has Google maps navigation, back and front facing cameras, and can take HD videos. It also has an HDMI output that enables one to watch videos on TV.

This is a high-end, budget smartphone that will help a kid remember schedules and assignments.

14. Pantech Jest 2

The Pantech Jest 2 is a small and affordable phone for the little ones. The phone is small enough to fit in small pockets, has a music player, and is also great for texting. The Pantech has a built-in GPS, as well as a mapping capability, just in case the kid gets lost on the way to school.

This cute and affordable phone is great for young kids who do not require data services and other smartphone functions.

15. Nokia 130

The Nokia 130 is a 2G budget phone from Microsoft. The phone has 2G internet support for basic communication and email, Bluetooth, and a flashlight. In addition, the Nokia 130 has a microSD slot that supports up to 32 GB, a built-in video player, an MP3 player, and other standard features such as calculators and an alarm.

16. JCB Tradesman 2

JCB Tradesman 2 is a strong phone that can survive impacts from drops of up to 1.5 meters. In addition, it is water and dust resistant and will normally float if dropped in a pool of water or in a swimming pool. This dual-sim card phone has a long lasting battery, a microSD card slot, a VGA camera, a flashlight, and Bluetooth.

The JCB Tradesman 2 is ideal for rough handling, like in construction work. They are therefore ideal for kids who are playful or those who like tossing objects around.

17. Nokia 3310

This is a rugged phone with a long-lasting battery and just a few games. The Nokia 3310 is not as fancy and only has basic features for calling, texting and two or three games. It is also very cheap and good for the kids.

18. Nokia 100 PR

This is probably the cheapest. It is one of the oldest phones, so it most likely wont be stolen. The Nokia 100 is a tough, durable and reliable phone with a color screen, a texting friendly keypad, and an FM radio. This is a basic phone and doesnt have features such as GPS, camera and internet connectivity. However, it is suitable for basic things such as calls, texting and a few games.

Conclusion

Mobile phones are useful tools that help parents check if their children are safe as well as letting the kids communicate with the parent. However, there are some risks if children or criminals misuse the phone. Some phones are designed with options of limiting the use of some of the features, while others will give parents a form of control over the phone, hence ensuring that the kid uses the phone responsibly.

It is also important to educate the child about possible dangers and responsible ways of using the phone. The children should be aware of risks involved when using features such as internet access, Bluetooth, cameras and social media.

The kids should therefore be advised on privacy, accepting friendship requests, or sharing files with strangers as well as against posting too much personal content online.

When used responsibly, the phones can play an important and positive role in the Childs life.